Thursday, February 03, 2005

"A Trip Through Your Wires"

The way that one's mind works is extremely interesting to me. I'm sure that there are people out there whose minds work in a linear, one thing at a time manner. As a matter of fact, I know there are because I've dated a few of them. A dubious venture, because my mind works more like a small gang of over-caffeinated squirrels chasing superballs.

Before you mistakenly think that I hold myself in unusually high regard, it's important to note that 95% of said thoughts are of little significance and even less intelligence. Mine is a reference-heavy model, constantly linking trains of thought, ideas, memories, songs, plans, images, observations, you name it. My mind is constantly free associating with itself. As often as possible, I let it go nuts, so to speak, as the entertainment value is quite high, indeed.

However, I do understand and (attempt to) practice the art of cohesive, coherent thought, especially when dealing with others. And as free form as my thought patterns can be, there are certainly some synaptic pathways that have been highly reinforced by constant use. Some of these are values; some, decision making tools; others, internal checkpoints or places for assessment. These all come together to make a kind of net of reference points that constitute a great deal of my personality.

Every now and again, these reference points will change. Being a tad on the mentally overstimulated side, I don't always read the memo that's in the inbox before carrying on my merry way. Last week after a routine check and hustle, the squirrels and I came to a lurching halt at the realization that something had changed.

For 10 years, one of those reference points has my mother and step parents. The points were more gauges and perspectives than actual guides, but those were the people who inhabited those roles. As the squirrels and I reviewed the logs and (finally!!) read the memos, it became clear to me that the previous coterie of parental figures had been replaced by my favorite teachers, professors and mentors.


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